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Re: Why Donald Trump Cannot Bring Back the Coal Industry

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Message 171 of 176

@KidBoy2 wrote:
lk152 posted..

I have been saying for a long time that Donald Trump cannot save the coal mining industry or bring back all those coal miner's jobs. The coal industry is a victim to changing times and economic forces that no American President could change or stop.

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That is true ...but unlike Obama who wanted to do what he could to "kill off" coal Trump can let it stay until it is no longer needed...which will be at least 20? years.

In Montana our Democratic Governor and our PSC are in favor of Trumps doing a way with Obama's clean air ..or whatever its called ..."thing". They want coal to continue to be around ...and its safe open pit mining.

The fuel that is taking over for coal is natural gas and its not a renewable resource like wood and hydroelectric power is.

Yea, who needs clean air to breathe anyway.

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Re: Why Donald Trump Cannot Bring Back the Coal Industry

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Message 172 of 176
lk152 posted..

I have been saying for a long time that Donald Trump cannot save the coal mining industry or bring back all those coal miner's jobs. The coal industry is a victim to changing times and economic forces that no American President could change or stop.

==================================================

That is true ...but unlike Obama who wanted to do what he could to "kill off" coal Trump can let it stay until it is no longer needed...which will be at least 20? years.

In Montana our Democratic Governor and our PSC are in favor of Trumps doing a way with Obama's clean air ..or whatever its called ..."thing". They want coal to continue to be around ...and its safe open pit mining.

The fuel that is taking over for coal is natural gas and its not a renewable resource like wood and hydroelectric power is.
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Re: Why Donald Trump Cannot Bring Back the Coal Industry

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Message 173 of 176

@NerdyMom wrote:

I agree.  I was talking to a colleague at work the other day, and her husband is in the energy industry.   He said the tide has turned.  Big energy companies know the money is in alternative fuels, solar, and other energy sources.  They are focusing forward, not backward.   

 

I'd love to see a program to retrain folks to do solar work, and even geothermal work.  Seems to me they could get decent geothermal energy out of old coal mines...


There are a couple of experimental projects that are tapping the heat energy from coal mines that are on fire.

 

In my neighborhood, the Hot Springs Lodge has been geothermally heated since 1986, and has been undergoing updates and upgrades.

 

Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge Geothermal Upgrades

 

All he coal mines in the Upper Crystal River Valley and Roaring Fork and Upper Colorado River Valley have been closed for about 20 years now, and some North Fork of the Gunnison River Valley mines have closed, while others are cutting costs and laying off miners as coal demand decreases incrementally, while more and more energy corporations that mined coal are declaring bankruptcy...

 

Colorado's leading coal mine, the West Elk, cuts jobs

 

 

44>dolt45
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Re: Why Donald Trump Cannot Bring Back the Coal Industry

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Message 174 of 176

Coal was the source of energy for the 19th century. In fact coal has been declining for a long time, ever since the railroads began switching from coal fired steam locomotives to diesel locomotives and people changed from coal furnaces to gas or electric heat in their homes. What has kept the coal industry going for the past seventy years has been the presence of coal fired electric power plants. But those coal fired power plants are aging and many are being replaced. Natural gas is not only cheaper than coal, it is also more efficient and cleaner as well. So it makes economic sense to convert or build a new power plant run on natural gas than coal.

 

Then there is the development of renewable sources of energy. This is the wave of the future and renewable energy will become the major source of energy for the 21st century no matter what Donald Trump says. The fact remains that there are currently more jobs in the renewable energy sector now than there are in the coal industry. In addition many more new jobs have been created in renewable energy than have been lost in coal mining since 2010. 

 

As this article clearly states it only takes a small investment to retrain laid off coal miners how to work in the renewable energy industry. But it is intransigence as well as false hope that somehow coal mining jobs will return. Politicians and coal mining company owners have used a "war on coal" being waged by the Obama administration to get elected or to maintain control over the population in coal country. 

 

But sooner or later, those unemployed coal miners will wake up and realize that no matter what those politicians have been saying, their lost coal mining jobs will not return. Those who are smart will realize that their futures lie in another industry and in another location. 

 

This type of economic change has been happening in the United States since its founding. One hundred years ago the change over from a horse and buggy system of transportation to automoblies changed a lot of jobs and created a lot more jobs. Over the past fifty years the emerging technology industry and computers have created millions of new jobs that didn't exist back in 1970. 

 

There was a documentary shown a few days ago at the Cleveland International Film Festival titled California Typewriter. It is about a one of its kind store in San Francisco that sells and maintains old Underwood and other typewriters. Now who uses a typewriter any more? I used to have one when I was in college fifty years ago. It was indispensible for doing reports and papers for my classes. But that typewriter from the late 1960s is now a museum piece, along with the old fashioned 45 rpm record player I had back then as well. 

 

Of course, eventually those coal miners will realize that Donald Trump has been selling them snake oil and making promises that cannot be kept. Then they will turn against him and any other politician who has been misleading the people. 

 

In the musical play Hairspray  the final song is a lively song and dance number titled You Can't Stop the Beat. It deals with the fact that no matter what people do, they cannot stop the march of progress. In particular it deals with the integration of the Corny Collins show, a clone of American Bandstand. The setting is in Baltimore in 1962 during the civil rights era. Fast forward to 2017 and as far as energy, they can't stop the beat or the change to renewable energy from coal. 

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Re: Why Donald Trump Cannot Bring Back the Coal Industry

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I agree.  I was talking to a colleague at work the other day, and her husband is in the energy industry.   He said the tide has turned.  Big energy companies know the money is in alternative fuels, solar, and other energy sources.  They are focusing forward, not backward.   

 

I'd love to see a program to retrain folks to do solar work, and even geothermal work.  Seems to me they could get decent geothermal energy out of old coal mines...

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Why Donald Trump Cannot Bring Back the Coal Industry

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Message 176 of 176

I have been saying for a long time that Donald Trump cannot save the coal mining industry or bring back all those coal miner's jobs. The coal industry is a victim to changing times and economic forces that no American President could change or stop. 

 

That is the thesis of a column in Newsweek magazine that perfectly mirrors my beliefs and what I have been saying all along. Just as no President could bring back the buggy whip jobs that were lost 100 years ago when the country went from horse drawn carriages to automobiles, Donald Trump cannot fight ht tides of change and bring back coal. Read on:

 

With a stroke of a pen on Tuesday, President Donald Trump set off a panic among environmentalists and celebrations in coal country in an executive order he proclaimed would lead to a “new era in American energy.”

 

Everybody needs to calm down. The terror and revelry are not only premature but also based on projections for a future that will never arrive. Trump’s executive order reversing the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan designed to cut carbon pollution from power plants is meaningless. Washington has far less ability to change the direction of economic forces than politicians and the public seem to believe. Laws could be passed providing new federal support for the buggy whip industry, but that business is not coming back. The same goes for coal; the world has simply changed too much. Coal, by any reasonable measure, is on life support and won’t be recovering no matter what Trump and Congress do. A revitalization of the industry—which would push up the pollution generated by this dirty fuel—is not going to happen.

 

Coal plants have been closing year after year. In 2005, there were 619 coal-fired power plants in the United States; that number dropped to 427 by 2015—long before the Obama administration announced the Clean Power Plan. In fact, since Trump won the presidency, six more coal-fired power plants have closed or announced they will. Over the same time, the number of natural gas plants climbed from 1,664 to 1,779. (And don’t forget the many non-hydroelectric plants running on renewable energy like solar. Those climbed from 781 to 3,043. Such renewables, which generated next to nothing in 1990, now account for almost 10 percent of total power generated in the U.S.)

 

Given the length of time it takes to build a power plant, the future for natural gas over the next few years is already predictable. Another 19 gigawatts of electricity generation capacity is scheduled to come online by the end of next year, with Texas having the most under construction. And what is the probability that Republicans will move to cripple a huge business in a must-win, deeply conservative state in a futile attempt to bring back a dying industry?

 

Then there is the issue of technology development on employment in coal. No longer is this a dig-deep-into-the-ground, pickax, haul-it-out business. Even if the coal industry starts booming—which it won’t—the jobs are gone forever. Technology is taking the place of miners. Digging deep mines in the Appalachians is more expensive than strip mining with machines out West or blowing up mountain tops; handfuls of explosives experts are more likely to get jobs from any expansion than thousands of miners.  

 

In other words, when Republicans rage about a “war on coal” or “bringing back coal,” they’re lying to win votes. So, rather than worrying about elections, perhaps it’s time for politicians to start worrying about jobs and improving the lives of people in the mining states. One way to do that is for Washington to recognize that renewables are one of the fastest growing businesses out there and one that will not be stopped.

 

A study published last year in the peer-reviewed journal Energy Economics says coal miners could cheaply and easily be retrained for jobs in the solar energy industry. The solar industry is experiencing employment growth 12 times that of the entire economy. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating jobs in solar energy will increase by as much as 24 percent by 2022 from a decade before, the employment opportunities for solar panel installers and other jobs in that industry are enormous. And unlike wind and hydroelectric, solar is not geographically limited and so could absorb the vast supply of coal miners with modest relocation costs—if any—for miners and their families.

 

“A relatively minor investment in retraining would allow the vast majority of coal workers to switch to [solar]-related positions even in the event of the elimination of the coal industry,’’ according to the study, which was written by Joshua Pearce, associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Technological University, and Edward Louie, a doctoral student at the School of Public Policy at Oregon State University. “Even if completely subsidized by the federal government, [the cost], ranging from $180 million to $1.87 billion, would only amount to 0.0052 percent and 0.0543 percent of the U.S. federal budget, respectfully.”

 

Even for a deficit hawk, the highest estimated cost for retraining is a great deal. In 2016 alone, the price tag for the federal fund to aid miners disabled by black lung disease was almost $1.4 billion—$500 million less than the highest projected cost for retraining. And retraining is a onetime cost; the black lung fund is an expense every year. Between 2014 and 2016, the price for the disability fund was more than $3 billion. If the fantasy that coal made a resurgence and somehow companies abandoned advanced cutting-edge technology to hire miners came true, the budget for black lung disease would go up.

 

Now notice, I have not mentioned climate change once. When it comes to this issue, it doesn’t matter if Republicans deny the science about that long-term threat. The issues here are markets and jobs. In other words, there is no war on coal. But there is a war on coal workers, and the only way to end it is to put up the money to shift them into the modern world.

 

Read the entire article at this link:

 

http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-coal-clean-power-barack-obama-epa-energy-environment-solar-job-...

 

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